Newest members of the Remembrance Day Sentry Program ready to stand guard
November 8, 2021 - Defence Stories
Members of the Remembrance Day Sentry Program are chosen to stand vigil at the National War Memorial in Ottawa during ceremonies held November 11.
Each year, six Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and one Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer receive the distinction of being chosen from all those nominated across the country to play an important role during the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa.
As the newest members of the Remembrance Day Sentry Program, they will stand vigil at the National War Memorial during ceremonies held November 11. As in previous years, the sentries have been honoured with this important ceremonial duty based on criteria such as deployment experience, community involvement, physical fitness, and their record of conduct.
“I am incredibly honoured and proud to have been selected to stand as the Nursing Sentry on Remembrance Day in Ottawa,” said Lieutenant (Navy) Debra Fredericks. “I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to represent the Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Forces Health Services, and the Nursing Community as we honour and pay respect to those members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as those who have and continue to dedicate their service to our great county. We will remember them.”
The Program was created in 1998 to publicly recognize outstanding CAF members from both the Regular and the Reserve Force, and the RCMP, for their dedication, professionalism, and performance in service to Canada. The following personnel have been selected to form the vigil for the event this year:
- Royal Canadian Navy Sentry Commander: Petty Officer Second Class Jacob Russell, Personnel Coordination Centre (Pacific), Esquimalt, B.C.
- Canadian Army Sentry: Corporal Justin George, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, Edmonton, Alta.
- Royal Canadian Air Force Sentry: Corporal William Jodoin, 21 Aerospace Control & Warning Squadron, North Bay, Ont.
- Special Operations Forces Sentry: Master Corporal Dany Drapeau-Guay, Canadian Special Operations Training Centre, Petawawa, Ont.
- Military Personnel Command Nursing Officer Sentry: Lieutenant (Navy) Debra Fredericks, Canadian Forces Trauma Training Centre (West), Vancouver, B.C.
- RCMP Sentry: Corporal Rielly Knock, F Division, Saskatoon, Sask.
- Special Guest of the Chief of the Defence Staff: Corporal Nick Kerr, Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group, Edmonton, Alta.
“I am very humbled and honoured to be selected as the special guest to the Acting Chief of the Defence Staff,” said Corporal Kerr. “During our mission in Afghanistan I lost twenty-four friends and work colleagues, eight of whom I was a pallbearer for – one in particular was a very close friend to me, Corporal James Arnal. I personally use this day to reflect, pay my respects and remember my friends, work colleagues, and all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lest we forget.”
In the days leading up to the Remembrance Day ceremony, the seven members have a full schedule of activities, including visits to National Defence Headquarters, the Canadian War Museum, the National Military Cemetery, and the RCMP Musical Ride Stables. Yet within the excitement of travel and the pride of having been chosen a sentry, the gravity of the occasion is never forgotten.
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